Tuesday, June 18, 2013

God, Guidotti, the Good-looking and the Gorgeous

I like Rick Guidotti!  Wow.  After this video, maybe you will too!  A short time ago, someone posted a story about Rick that appeared on NBC.  He was interviewed by Dr. Nancy Snyderman.  Rick is a photographer.   He has covered fashion in his career for the top fashion magazines.  I had never heard of him as I am not into fashion (believe me on that), nor am I into photography (again, believe me on that too). 

Yet, why would I ever pay attention for one second to Rick Guidotti? 

It is about a mind transformation that took place.  He was told something over and over by a certain pool of society and he questioned it.  He questioned it and then plunged into an entirely different pool.  That is a lot like what happened to me.  It started with God challenging me about ideas and then He grabbed my heart/soul.   I want for you to see the video first, but I am going to give spoilers left and right if you don't. 

Rick was told by the fashion society what was beautiful.  He was around models and fashion "experts" for many years.  He said he pondered about what was considered "beauty".   Don't we often do that?  Only maybe for some, more time is spent branding people as "ugly".   Bullying includes name-calling others who are perceived looking or even acting  differently. Many people believe the lies when they are branded as ugly  Conversely, we do have to be careful not to become vain if others puff us up with flattery. 

Rick shared in this video how he saw someone with albinism.  My very first encounter with someone who was labeled as an"albino" was a character in the movie "Foul Play".   The actor's name was William Frankfather but he did not have albinism.  The character he portrayed was a villain.  As Rick pointed out, our only public examples of people with albinism are movie villains or strange story characters.   Then, in further research he found more examples of people with albinism presented in medical textbooks.  They were photographed in very cold, clinical and depressing settings.  One could suppose these photos have been most likely used to warn parents about their children's futures.  Many obstetricians are painting the bleakest scenarious for parents even without the photographs!

Many people were involved in  "freak shows" or were cast aside by their own communities and this horrified him.  Rick saw beauty. , not a "freak".   He went on to say how he also got involved with other groups who help families with Trisomy 18 and Marfan's syndrome.  THIS is where I broke down in watching this interview. I that exquisiteness as well.  His excitement for discovering it and sharing it was so palpable!  I  have seen the beauty in these individuals and have had a passion for a long time to protect these beautiful people.  Prenatal Partners for Life

 I wanted to ask Rick personally if he was aware of how many babies were killed in the womb because they were not held as equally precious as the "beautiful ones".   Here is a biblical truth here.  "But the Lord said to Samuel, 'Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.'” 1 Samuel 16:7   He MUST think it is wrong to kill a person based only on the pigmentation, or lack thereof in this case, or the number of chromosomes a person possesses.  It is my prayer that he does. 

Even back when I was very young in grade school,  my heart broke for and sought out those who were left-out, the last one picked for a team, or picked-on and didn't fit into the "in" crowd.  It was not that I pitied them but it was more like "hey, let's band together as friends".  Oftentimes, we were really together because we had so many common interests that the rest of the crowds didn't know about or understand.  I saw them as beautiful even though they did not wear makeup, heels or big Texas hair.  What IS beautiful anyway?  While I am not into that secular term of "self-esteem", I am into God-esteem!  My identity is in the fact that I was created in God's image, just like these people he has been photographing.  That is how we are supposed to hold our heads up high.  We were created for His pleasure and to worship Him.  I still feel that way for people today but the territory has enlarged to look out for those who cannot defend themeselves. Back in junior high, the weapons were words, now I see the weapons are curettes and high-powered vacuums.

Rick's passion for recognizing the beauty of individuals who are "very different" from society's perception of beauty touched my heart and a nerve. This is where it strikes my nerve. It is more than the outward appearance because while I see that many fashion models (or actresses)  splashed onto magazine covers for their beauty, their behavior is what sticks in my mind.  I do not care how "beautiful" a person  may be deemed by this society.  Naomi Campbell has been arrested for spitting on a police officer, assaulting her assistant and throwing tantrums......that's UUUUUUUUUGLY!  We all have to guard our thoughts, words and actions so believe me, self-examination IS first!  I can be very "ugly" too....even if I am "stylin'"!

Mark 7:18-23
 So He said to them, because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?” And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness.  All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”

I don't know if Rick is a Christian but whether he considers himself one or not, he still may consider himself "pro-choice".  I pray that this part of his life, this new discovery, is a stepping stone to going deeper in what constitutes beauty.  Will he question what happens to babies who are aborted because they MIGHT be diagnosed with Trisomy 18?  If he found out that a baby was to be aborted because of Marfan's or albinism, would he fight tooth and nail to try to protect that little one?   He thinks they are beautiful but would he put down his camera and protect that little beauty?  Does that baby deserve a chance to live? And not just the babies who may have physical or mental difficulties...but all babies!  How does Rick view Jesus Christ and his death on the cross for Rick's sins?  Is that beauty?

In closing, the account of Mephibosheth came to mind because not everyone is born with a noticeable malady (except for the very real defect of the heart...sin). Mephibosheth was Jonathon's young son whose legs were injured when his nurse was hasty in her flight from danger.  He was 5 years old.  His legs became  "lame".    

2 Samuel  9:6-12
Now when Mephibosheth the son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, had come to David, he fell on his face and prostrated himself. Then David said, “Mephibosheth?”And he answered, “Here is your servant!”
So David said to him, “Do not fear, for I will surely show you kindness for Jonathan your father’s sake, and will restore to you all the land of Saul your grandfather; and you shall eat bread at my table continually.”
Then he bowed himself, and said, “What is your servant, that you should look upon such a dead dog as I?”
And the king called to Ziba, Saul’s servant, and said to him, “I have given to your master’s son all that belonged to Saul and to all his house. 10 You therefore, and your sons and your servants, shall work the land for him, and you shall bring in the harvest, that your master’s son may have food to eat. But Mephibosheth your master’s son shall eat bread at my table always.” Now Ziba had fifteen sons and twenty servants.
11 Then Ziba said to the king, “According to all that my lord the king has commanded his servant, so will your servant do.”
“As for Mephibosheth,” said the king, “he shall eat at my table like one of the king’s sons.” 12 Mephibosheth had a young son whose name was Micha. And all who dwelt in the house of Ziba were servants of Mephibosheth. 13 So Mephibosheth dwelt in Jerusalem, for he ate continually at the king’s table. And he was lame in both his feet.

Today, in the Netherlands,  babies born with physical/mental challenges can be killed after they are born.  It's called the Groningen Protocol.  It is a very slippery slope.  What is the criteria?  Age?  Severity of "deformity"?  It really does not matter.  It is all about not being "inconvenienced"!  It is about "ugliness".

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and fortunately, God's eyes hold the standard, for which I am grateful.  In a world that might deem me ugly from outward appearances, God calls me His and I am weak and lame and beautiful.  Are you His?

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